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Municipal District Administrator Michael Ryan Retires


Pictured here L-R: Local Government Administrator Mr Michael Ryan & Tipperary Independent TD Michael Lowry.

The warmest of tributes have been flowing in over the past number of weeks for  Templemore/ Thurles Municipal District Administrator Mr Michael Ryan, who officially retired today, having worked over 40 years at his post in Tipperary Local Government.

A native of Templederry, Co. Tipperary, Mr Ryan first began his Co. Council career in Nenagh, back in 1970 and following a brief spell in New Ross, Co. Wexford, returned to Thurles in 1977, taking up the post of then Thurles Town Clerk – a post he held for some 30 years.

Following the merger between North & South Tipperary Co. Councils and the complete eradication of Local Councils by the previous government, Mr Ryan was appointed Municipal Administrator for the Templemore/ Thurles District.

While officiating at his final Municipal District meeting last Wednesday, local Council representatives were high in their praise of his years of devotion to duty, dedication and overall commitment to the Thurles district. Indeed one public representative described Mr Ryan as being the “Alex Ferguson” of Tipperary local Council Administrators.

Speaking to Thurles.Info today, Tipperary Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry highly praised Mr Ryan for his true dedication, forward vision, negotiating skills and his innumerable abilities in overseeing all aspects of local government administration. Mr Lowry went on to wish Mr Ryan every happiness, success and good health in his well earned retirement years, into the future.

M/s Deirdre O’ Shea will now take on the responsible position of acting Templemore/ Thurles Municipal District Administrator, in the absence of a new appointment to this now vacant local government post.


Is A New Government Taking Shape?

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Caretaker Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Caretaker Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny is understood to have offered the Fianna Fáil leader Mr Micheál Martin a full and equal partnership in the next Government, following their meeting in Leinster House at 8.30pm this evening.

Both men met to further discuss the possibility of forming the next Government.

Mr Kenny is understood to have proposed a Government compiled of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil together with a small number of like-minded Independent TDs.

The meeting is understood to have been attended by Mr Martin, Mr Kenny and a note taker.

Both men are due to meet again tomorrow morning, ahead of a Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting, latter due to take place at 11.00am.


Lest Thurles Forgets General Richard Mulcahy

In 2016 we commemorate, rightfully, those who took part in the Irish 1916 Easter Rising. From a Thurles commemorative perspective however, perhaps the name Richard James Mulcahy was somewhat sidelined, due to the 1916 Easter Rising being mostly confined to Dublin city.

This in mind, let us not forget that one action, if not the most successful of all 1916 actions undertaken by Irish Volunteers, took place in Ashbourne, County Meath. It was here on April 28th 1916, under the leadership of Thomas Ashe (A national school teacher from Lusk, who would later die on hunger strike), and his second-in-command, Richard James Mulcahy (A post office engineer from Thurles), together with 45 Fingal Volunteers, attacked a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks.

History credits Richard Mulcahy with the defeat of the RIC at Ashbourne, through his engagement in a flanking movement made on an opposing police column; latter who were rushed to reinforce their already surrendered comrades.

Arrested after the rising, Mulcahy was later interned at Knutsford and at the Frongoch internment camps in Wales, until his release on in 1917.


Pic (1) Michael Collins (center) with Richard Mulcahy; Pic (2) General Richard Mulcahy TD; Pic (3) Mulcahy with his wife Mary (Affectionately known as ‘Min’) in 1922.

Who was Richard James Mulcahy?

Richard (Dick) James Mulcahy [Irish: Risteárd Séamus Ó Maolchatha (1886 -1971)] was originally born in Manor Street, Co. Waterford on May 10th, 1886.  He began his educated, first at Mount Sion Christian Brothers School, Waterford and later at Thurles C.B.S, when his father and family transferred to reside in Thurles, County Tipperary. In 1902 he joined the post office Engineering Department, working first in Thurles and later in Bantry, Co Cork, Dublin and Wexford.  Shortly after his arrival in Dublin, Mulcahy joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1907 and later in 1913, joined the Irish Volunteers.

Continue reading Lest Thurles Forgets General Richard Mulcahy


Life Here In Thurles Easter Week 1916

The Irish Easter Rebellion or Easter Rising (Éirí Amach na Cásca) began on Easter Monday, April 24th, 1916 and lasted for six days. It was launched by seven members of the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, led by schoolmaster and Irish language activist Patrick Pearse, joined by the Irish Citizen Army of James Connolly, together with 200 members of Cumann na mBan.

It ended with unconditional surrender on Saturday April 29th, following by the courts-martial and execution of most of the leaders.

Old I.R.A. / Cumann na mBan Easter Meeting: Market House, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary, (Circa 1957).


Some faces identified in this picture; Travelling L-R (1) Con Spain, (2) Billy Maher, (3) Paddy (The Master) Ryan, (4) Dinny Byrne, (5) ?, (6) ?, (7) T.Long, (Gortnahoe). (8) Andrew Hackett, (9) ?, (10) ?, (11) Jimmy Carroll, (12) John Burns, (13) Patsy Doran, (14) Jimmy Loughnane, (15) Mrs O’Brien (16) Mrs O’Shea, (17) Bill Coman (Known fondly as ‘Bill the Black’, Connaught Rangers, Holycross,) (18) Mrs Delaney, (19) Tommy Griffin, (20) Ml Cleary, (21) Mick Quinn (CIE), (22) Joe Carroll, (23) Mick Leamy, (24) Stephen Troy, (25) Tom Doran, (26) Pakie Gorman, (27) Tom Duggan (Gortnahoe), (28) ?, (29) ?, (29a) Martin Dwyer, (30) Ml Cooney, (31) ?, (32) Hugh Long (Gortnahoe), (33) Tade Gleeson, (34) Jack Hackett, (35) Paddy Maher (Moyne), (36) Jack Kelly, (37) Sean Hayes, (38) ?, (39) Charles Steward Parnell O’Donnell (Gortnahoe), (40) James Mooney.     (Can anyone help us by putting names to the unknown faces captured in the above image?)

(Our sincere thanks to historians; Monseignor Dr. M. Dooley, Liam O’Donoghue and Sean Spain for their research.)

The following extracts, relating to life in Thurles during the week of the Easter Rising 1916, are taken from the journal of Fr. Michael Maher C.C., Thurles, then Secretary to the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Dr. John Mary Harty.

Easter Monday, 24th April 1916

“On Easter Monday, everything was peaceable to all appearances and we spent a quiet day, as the weather was cold and rainy. It appears that a notice was inserted in the evening papers of Saturday calling on the Irish or Sinn Féin Volunteers* not to have any parades on Easter Monday. It was signed by Eoin MacNeill who was regarded as their head.

[ * Note: In an effort to thwart both informers and the Volunteers’ own leadership, Pearse issued orders in early April for three days of “Parades and Manoeuvres” by the Volunteers for Easter Sunday. His idea was that the republicans within the organisation (particularly IRB members) would know exactly what this meant, while men such as MacNeill and the British authorities in Dublin Castle would take it at only face value.  MacNeill got wind of the truth and threatened to “do everything possible short of phoning Dublin Castle”, to prevent such a rising. ]

I did hear on Sunday morning that a motor car with Sinn Féin Volunteers ran into the sea near Killorglin* in Kerry and that the bodies of the occupants, who were drowned, were on recovery, found to have contained several rounds of ammunition as well as arms and Sinn Féin badges. The man that told me had it by letter and he seemed rather excited, but I paid no heed to it because I knew that the Sinn Féiners had no following or strength except in Dublin, where it was known that they had a force of about five thousand trained and equipped men.

[ * Same news refers to the incident at Ballykissane Pier, on Good Friday 1916, when Con Keating, Charlie Monaghan and Donal Sheehan were drowned. The driver of the car, Thomas McInerney, managed to swim to safety. ]

Around us there were about 50 in Dualla, headed by Mr. Pierce McCan of Ballyowen, and more in Ballagh under the leadership of Éamon O’Dwyer, who is a small farmer near that village. There were a few in Tipperary town and a few in Clonmel and Fethard, but none in Cashel or Templemore. Four was the number in Thurles, but we knew that only one could be counted on to take up arms. There were about a dozen in Drom and that was the sum total of their strength in Tipperary. They were mostly men who had seceded from the National Volunteers when McNeill and his followers took exception to Mr. Redmond’s tendency towards recruiting.

We got the papers on Monday morning April 24th [1916] and there was an account of the motor car incident as well as something about a ship that had been seized off the Kerry coast, but all these things did not disturb us in the least.

After dinner I was sitting in my room with Dr. Heffernan of the College, when Fr. M.K. Ryan came in and told us that the Sinn Féiners had begun a rebellion in Dublin, that the trains were not running and, as far as he could learn, it was on a large scale. I did not pay much heed to the tale because I knew that the Sinn Féiners had only a comparatively small force in Dublin and that they had practically no following in the remainder of Ireland. Yet I knew that a comparatively small body of men well trained and operating in a city could occupy houses and give a great deal of trouble to a military force sent to dislodge them. On the other hand, England had never as many soldiers at her call as now, and I believed that all the forces of the Crown would be sent to the work of suppressing any rising in Ireland, even though it meant shelling Dublin. We got no papers that night and no trains came from Cork or Dublin.”

Continue reading Life Here In Thurles Easter Week 1916


Death Of Former EU Commissioner Richard Burke

It was with sadness we report the death of the former Minister for Education and EU Commissioner, Mr Richard (Dick) Burke, who passed away peacefully at his home yesterday morning, at the age of 83 yearsDeath.

An Education Minister in the Fine Gael government led by Mr Liam Cosgrave from 1973 until 1976, Mr Burke was born in New York in the United States in 1932. He was raised in Upperchurch, Co. Tipperary and was educated here in Thurles at the Christian Brothers School (CBS). He later attended University College Dublin (UCD) and King’s Inns.

While occupied as a teacher he embarking on a political career, with his first political involvement being with the Christian Democrat Party founded by Mr Seán Loftus. Mr Burke later became a member of Fine Gael, becoming a member of Dublin County Council in 1967. Within two years he was elected to Dáil Éireann for the first time, becoming a TD for South County Dublin.  In 1969 he was appointed Chief Whip by the then Fine Gael party leader Mr Liam Cosgrave.

It was during his time in office as Minister for Education, he relaxed the then strict requirement for students to pass Irish language exams in order to gain a Leaving Certificate qualification. It was he who first introduced the reforms of ‘Transition Year’ and ‘School Management Boards’ into the secondary school system.

Mr Burke was twice appointed as an EU Commissioner under two different governments, once succeeding Mr Patrick Hillery, latter who returned to become President of Ireland. He was also partially responsible for Fine Gael joining the European Christian Democratic movement, now the European Peoples Party.

Mr Burke is survived by his wife Mary and their five children; Mary, David, Audrey, Richard and Avila. He was predeceased by a sixth child, his son Joseph.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.